Q: I thought I was in a good relationship with my fiancÚ. We dated for a year. When he popped the proposal I said yes, gladly. He understood, or I thought he understood, my religious values of wanting to keep my virginity until we got married. At the engagement party, we announced that we would get married in six months.
He started to say that since we were getting married it was OK to have sex. I said no, and we would kiss and sometimes engage in petting. However, one night, he raped me. I was devastated and humiliated. He said sorry the following day and pledged never to do it again. I told him it was over and gave him back his ring. However, it got complicated because I discovered after a month that I was pregnant.
My former fiancÚ wants to get married and my parents think I should get married to him because I am pregnant. This is a change of heart because at first they said I should press charges, but I did not want to go to court. They do not want any disgrace, so they think the best thing is to get married even if we get divorced in a couple of years.
It is further complicated because my best friend tells me that I should have an abortion. I told her that I did not want to abort either. In other words, I am feeling lonely because nobody is respecting my decisions. They are claiming that I am confused. Do you think I am making the right decisions?
A: You have been through hell and back. You have been violated by your fiancÚ, the one you loved, trusted, and thought would be your life partner. He did not respect you and he was selfish in his desires. Rape is a heinous act. Unfortunately, you are the victim of a sinister crime and instead of getting support for your decisions from those who know you best and love you most, they are making false claims and giving bad advice.
respect your position
You are a strong woman. They need to respect your position that you do not want to go to court. Some persons find the way the trial is conducted and the line of questioning by defence lawyers humiliating. So if you feel that it is too stressful for you to go through that ordeal and recollection, then that is your choice. Some persons will feel that the rapist has got away and though he might not get a criminal sentence, his conscience will torment him for a while.
Furthermore, you have shown your disgust by calling off the wedding. He will have the embarrassing situation of not being able to say why the wedding is off, or he will have to lie to most persons about the reason.
It makes no sense to get married to cover the act of rape and have the family save face. The marriage vows would then be a farce. To intentionally get married knowing you are going to get a divorce is not desirable. Marriage is a big step, and if you are not in love with the person and not likely to be in love with the person, then your decision is a good one.
And you have made a courageous decision not to abort the child, who is a product of rape.
You have made courageous decisions at every step. One big challenge you will have is what to say to the child concerning his or her father, a rapist. Gladly, you do not have to explain anything to anyone else more than you have called off the wedding. You need strength to face this pregnancy and child rearing.
If at any stage you find the whole episode unbearable, please go and seek professional help.